Thursday, August 26, 2010

From the iPod

So Mischief has chewed through another A/C adapter for the laptop!!! She is coming seriously close to being allowed to be an outdoor cat! Amanda is going through Facebook & MSN withdrawal. I am fortunate to have my trusty little iPod. Amanda isn't getting the iPod or I'd never see it again!!!

I'm feeling really good ... Really. I get some stabby pains deep in my breast sometimes & I'm working on stretches because I still feel tight under my arm but all else is good. I'm sure that if I have a deep seated need to be a nude model I've heard that they can work miracles with airbrushing! LMAO!!! Just one more week until we see the oncologists & find out what kind of toxic depillitating mocktail I'll be on. I don't have a lot of expectations or trepidations about this one - I just want to know and get on with it.

I'm getting very excited about the Knitters Fair though - it'll be so nice to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in a long time.

I'm up to 115 hearts!! Amanda didn't feel the knitting love on these but she helped out today by sewing some together and doing some of the menial chores so that I can keep cranking them out.

Hopefully I'll be blogging from the laptop by Saturday so that we can have some pictures for interest.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting my Knit On!

I am cranking out hearts - I'll totally reach my initial goal of 100, I'm pushing for 150 & dreaming of 200!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gilda's House

We are lucky enough to have 1 of 2 Gilda's Houses in Canada here in Barrie. They offer a beautifully appointed house that hosts a variety of programs for cancer patients/survivors/families/supporters. It is brand new - the grand opening is September 17th so they are still getting settled. Like most charitable programs it runs on the dedication of volunteers and donations.

I have seen their yarn cupboard - it is sad. Acrylic that is very old - like matted on the ball kind of old. I am going to go through my stash and take in some decent yarn - nice acrylics for afghans, wool for felting, stuff that would ma
ke someone happy to knit with, give and/or receive.
I would like to ask that if you have any yarn that you think would fit this bill that you perhaps wouldn't miss too badly or would like to know that it is in different loving hands, please let me know {naturalbornknitter AT rogers DOT com}. I am going to be spending a lot of time up there (it's right beside the hospital!!) and will be helping out with some of the knitterly programs in particular and would be really thrilled to be able to share the pleasure of nice yarn.

I am knitting little hearts right now. Ann (Program Director) called me yesterday morning and asked if I could help out with some knitting. Apparently a young girl won a contest with Avon & is donating the $10,000 prize to Gilda's House. She & her mother wanted to knit these hearts for the ladies at the presentation where she will be giving a speech. This was a lovely plan until they found out that there were going to 400 Avon ladies there!!! I know - and they need them by the end of this month!!! I told Ann that I would not be able to do all 400 but would do my best to help out - realistically I will probably only get 100 done. I'm trying to get as much done on the Beverly Cardigan - that's deadlined - and still crank out the hearts. Knitting the 2 halves takes about 15 mins, sewing & stuffing takes about 10. I'm thinking that once Emily is home that I can teach Amanda the seaming/stuffing - it's totally not hard - & I can focus on the knitting. Or I'll talk to Ann on Monday when I go up for yoga and see if she wants to put together an evening where it can be a party. LOL Here are the first 10.


Oy - Amanda has had a friend from Milton up this week so we've been doing stuff - malls, beach, drive-in - to keep them occupied. They haven't seen each other in 5 years but have kept up on Facebook and are getting along really well. I've not been as productive as I may have wanted but I've been having fun & rest.

Thank you all so much for your continued support!! I'm doing good ... really. I'm feeling quite healed, there are still twinges if I reach too far or lift something wrong but the swelling & tenderness is going down. I make a conscious effort not to think ah
ead to the chemo. I'm making a list of questions for the Dr. but until we meet with him and get some data there is no way to predict how it's going to affect me so I'm just not borrowing trouble. I don't know how quickly they will want to start the chemo, but since I'll have waited that long I'm going to negotiate like an Apprentice to get it pushed out pasts the 11th 'cause I'm not going to miss the Knitters Fair!! While I'm not going to borrow trouble I'm not going to be naively optimistic and I want to be able to have a great day without worrying about side effects.

OMG - I can't believe that Julie's tent sale sneaked up on me!! I totally thought that it was next weekend. I know, but when she was blogging about getting ready I really thought that she was just ... getting ready! D'oh!!! I don't have the time to go up today and with taking Emily home tomorrow won't make it before it closes. I've been at the tent sale for time beyond memory ... Son of a Nutcracker!!! No, I didn't have anything in mind to buy & I totally don't need more yarn ... that it completely beside the point. ARGH!!!

I am almost ready to start the 3rd colour on my Creatively Dyed Sweet Spot strip - I love the vibrant colours on this 2nd colour. Sorry, I don't have the name for this one,.

The Beverly Cardigan is moving right along. The colour changes are moving along - I told Julie that I'll just have to knit faster to make the colours change more swiftly.
I've split off at the armholes & can fit all of the stitches on a straight needle so I think that I'm going to be able to pick up a bit of speed now. 35,960 sts to the end of the body.

I've been neglecting China Clouds - she's sitting beside me in her basket, quietly watching me with my other projects. Her silence makes me feel even more guilty. You know I love you darlin' - I'll be back.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On & On

Thanks everyone - all of your comments, cards, emails, positive thoughts & prayers are so appreciated and give me strength when my own strength wanes.

Amanda takes good care of me - she is a
most excellent aesthetician-in-the-making & maid, along with general minion extraordinaire. Don't tell her, but it makes her bouts of teenage attitude slightly easier to bear.

Kerwyn surprised me with flowers yesterday - a "good diagnosis" cheer. Along with wine & Chinese for dinner it was perfect, especially since there is always enough Chinese for leftover the next night!! No, I don't sit with the flowers all the time, just for the photo op. Just when I thought the romantic in him had gone for good!

I spent some time outside chillin' on the deck. I have become seriously addicted to McD's Iced Coffee.
A large vanilla iced coffee with an extra shot of vanilla totally hits the spot every time. I am dreading when they take it off of the menu which I'm sure they will when the weather turns. No ... not thinking about that!!! I have never been a fan of cold coffee, when my hot coffee hits that just-past-lukewarm stage I can't even drink it, but there's something about this iced coffee ...

Getting on with the Beverly Cardigan. At this point I have 422 stitches on the needle and am increasing 8 sts every 2 rows.
I know, but just 9,280 more sts to go before I should be able to split off the sleeves - if my row gauge isn't too tight then I'll have to put in some extra rows. Fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good News

Thank you for all of you positive thoughts & prayers - they totally worked! There was enough clean tissue around the tumour & the lymph nodes - all 7!!! - are cancer-free!!!
All of that being said, the tumour was large & aggressive enough to be a stage 3, 3rd grade cancer. I'm an over-achiever, what can I say? LOL I go to see the oncologists on Sept. 3rd to sort out the chemo - the Dr was quite certain that it's going to be an aggresive regimen based on the aggressiveness of the tumour. It grew from 2.3cm to 4.5 cm in 8 weeks. I know, I'm just nurturing like that! So at least I will have a few weeks to enjoy the rest of the nice summer weather before the rigours of chemo commence.
More good-ish news - apparently the tumour is non-progesterone/estrogen receptive which means that I won't have to take Tamoxifen or some such nasty estrogen blocker! According to the Dr. that's also not so good news because after the chemo & radiation there is no other adjuvant therapy to help prevent recurrence. But the next good news is that this kind of cancer responds very well to the chemo. So, all in all I'm counting it as a positive.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Would I do Without Knitting

So ... just one more day before I get pathology results from the surgery. I seriously don't know how people who don't have a hobby/distraction/obsession get through hard times. I still think about the endless "what if's" while I knit but having the yarn sliding through my fingers and fabric coming off of the needles keeps me from dwelling too deeply and gives me a zen kind of peace that keeps the demons at bay.

You're familiar with China Cl
ouds - I'm on to the RF now. After a wee OOPS! where I forgot to do the vent shaping on the border it's full steam ahead.

I started on the Beverly Cardigan
for Julie - deadline Knitters Fair. I got this.

The Creatively Dyed Sweet Spot strip is going great - noti
ce how just a wee change in tension changes the angle of the patterning. I knit that stretch at the beach - obviously quite relaxed. Still lovin' it!!

We went to the beach again ye
sterday - I taught Randy how to knit. After Nic & Krista learned Randy mentioned that he'd like to learn and what better place than at the beach. Another natural - he totally took to it!!!

My niece Chantal made me this lovely wall hanging - I don't know if she's heard me sing ... LOL.
Thanks Chantal - love ya!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Still with the Old & In with the New

It was such a wonderful day - the weather was perfect for a drive, Joan was lovely company - we got well caught up on the dish, Holly had the hands that I remembered and Julie had even more wonderful yarn & books than I remembered.

Holly was my massage therapist while we lived in Milton - she treated me for upwards of 10 years & did the labour & delivery massage for Amanda's birth. When she knew that Joan & I were pretty much driving by she invited me by & after 5 years away it was like no time had passed at all. I didn't realize how much I missed her treatments & listening ear so much until I saw her again. She is awesome & beautiful ... and while she is wishing for the best for me I wish her the best as well.

I picked up
some Kauni for a Beverly Cardigan & Mille Colori Big for a Ginormous Cabled Cowl for Julie. Joan & I wandered & poked around for a couple of hours and though I had no special thing in mind except exploring all of the new & excellent fall offerings, I came away with a Zauberball lace weight from Skacel, probably for a Lacy Baktus or Revontuli, a lovely glass shawl pin from Moving Mud and a linen stitch scarf pattern from Churchmouse Classics.

No fear - still deep into China Clouds!! I finished the LF last night.

How many ends do candles have? I think I'm burning a star-shaped candle here!!! All the better to keep from thinking about the follow up appt on Thursday - I tend to be an shining optimist during the day with a powerful & deeply dark imagination at night. Maybe I should try flipping my sleep routine ... though that would suck for entertaining Amanda. Good news though - I don't have detectable bone or lung cancer!! SCORE!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"That Guy"

OMG - I forgot to post a pic of "That Guy"!! He was wearing board shorts, but was wading out and I nearly died holding in the laughter when I saw him hitch up the shorts and hold them up like speedos ... like a little kid or an old woman who didn't plan to go in the water but really, really wants to & doesn't want to get their clothes wet. And check out his lips - he was styling out there like he's totally working it!

Got stuff done on all 3 projects but they pretty much look the same as yesterday ... only more. LOL Pics tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life's a Beach

We had a great day at Wasaga Beach. I found the free parking lot that I always park at (though it's been a couple of years) after nearly stroking out at the $16 that the main beach parking lots were charging. Seriously ... on a week day?!? There was some sprinkles that we sat through then when thunder started about 1/2 hour later I made the girls pack it in. By the time they had made the 1st trip to the truck and come back the thunder clouds had passed by so I gave in to the pleas and we stayed another 3 hours!
Amanda is so photogenic & a beauty already! The picture of her running in the waves makes me think of her in a Survivor challenge - she'd totally be the smart, hot chick!!!
After a shower to get the sand out of all the places that sand manages to get I sat outside & watched Kerwyn toss the ball against the side of the garage. I love watching him. He has this cute little habit of examining the ball for defects then wiping it off on his shirt if he misses it.
I took a picture of me before we set out -
the hat is a classic Chic Knits bucket hat.
I made progress yesterday on China Clouds & Mystery X & got a bit more done today at the beach on my Creatively Dyed Sweet Spot strip. I love how this is patterning!!

Sorry about that crazy pink yesterday - I don't know where that came from. Trying something new - again - today!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Outgoing & Incoming

So I finished Elise's sweater for XRX and it is now in the hands of UPS. This is the best picture of it that I can show you ... I can't even begin to hold a candle to Alexis' photographic skills, so I'll leave the hard work to him. Check out the documentation that they needed me to fill out - I put the same info on all 3 pages!!!

Now that that is done I'm back to China Clouds - I cast off for the LF
armhole. I'm so happy to be back into this project!! The only problem is is that after working with Alsan Trends 100% alpaca, even Rowan's DK Tweed feels rough!!
Joan & I are heading to Julie's on Saturday - she has been posting so much about all of the new fall stuff that I just couldn't stand it any more!!! I'll be picking up a project using Kauni ... it'll be my first time using the yarn & I'm so exited. You know me ... anything variegated!!!

I have developed some swelling, most likely because, even though I'm sure that I have a whack more, having 7 lymph nodes removed has reduced my capacity for effective drainage. It's still not as painful as before the surgery and doesn't interfere much with my knitting, but it is seriously uncomfortable & distracting. My most trusted non-MD advisor is an RMT and she reminded me that I need to get up from my standard seated knitting position and do some moving & stretching of my arm to help encourage whatever drainage I can. To that end (and because getting up and just stretching really isn't my forte) I have dragged out the Chatelaine Mystery X (which really is no longer a mystery, but still ...) cross stitch to work on.
The x-stitching motion fits the bill for arm movement that is lacking in my knitting. I'm excited to be back into this project to - like most x-stitches the picture totally does not do it justice!! I love Martina's Mandala designs!!

Tomorrow we're off to the beach - I promised Amanda and it's time to pay the piper. It's supposed to be sunny & hot so she get's to take a friend (the better to leave me to my knitting) and have fun. I can't wait to get beach pics of her - she's growing up so much. Can you believe that summer vacation is half over?!?